Saturday, September 5, 2015

Marsala Glazed Chorizo Carbonara

When I first met my husband, his favorite food was carbonara. He ordered it nearly every time we went to a restaurant and it's still one of his favorites. Back then, I didn't even know what it was. Now I make it for him all the time, but occasionally I get a little experimental with it… 

I saw a recipe in a magazine that used chorizo in carbonara rather than pancetta so I decided that I would take it one step further and try it with marsala glazed chorizo. Normally when I cook chorizo this way, I double glaze it, but for this dish, I find that just one lashing of marsala is enough to bring out the smokey, spicy flavor of the chorizo. The dish is a big hit in my house and it's super easy to make so it's a rather rewarding mid-week dinner!

I will say this… Normally, I'm all for saving money where you can in the kitchen, but when it comes to a dish like this, there are so few ingredients and it's so simply prepared that you want to get the best quality you can afford, particularly when it comes to the pasta. I tend to shy away from the cheaper spaghetti options because I feel like they're not as thick and substantial as the only slightly more expensive versions. It might be the difference of 80p or so, but the taste in my opinion is a million times better.

Serves 2...

200g spaghetti
100g cooking chorizo
2 eggs
40g shredded parmesan cheese
1 lemon
2 tablespoons marsala
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Cook the spaghetti according to packet directions in a large pot of salted boiling water, checking a minute or two before it's meant to be done. Before straining, reserve a cup of the starchy pasta cooking water and set aside.

2. Slice the cooking chorizo into discs and tumble into a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Cook for about 5 to 10 minutes or until starting to bronze before increasing the heat and pouring in the marsala. Allow it to bubble away, until it reduces to a thick syrupy coating before removing from the heat. I like to reduce this as much as possible, but you must take care not to burn it.

3. Add the eggs to a bowl along with the parmesan cheese and the finely grated zest of the lemon. Beat together gently with a wire whisk.

4. Tip the strained pasta into the bowl along with the chorizo and toss thoroughly and quickly to prevent the eggs from scrambling. If the mixture is too dry, add in some of the pasta cooking water one tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.

5. Finally, squeeze 1/2 of the lemon's juice over the dish and sprinkle with freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve hot.

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